After a 4-month hiatus, Pranjala Yadlapalli made a strong return with a big win over former top-20 player Daria Gavrilova. Pranjala ended up reaching the final of the UTR Melbourne series hosted by Tennis Australia.

[RR1] Pranjala Yadlapalli (UTR 10.95) beat Daria Gavriilova (UTR 12.30) 4-6 6-4 10-6
[RR2] Pranjala Yadlapalli (UTR 10.95) beat Alana Parnaby (UTR 10.58) 6-4 4-6 10-7
[F] Pranjala Yadlapalli (UTR 10.95) lost Storm Sanders (UTR 12.03) 2-6 4-6

After the tourney, Indian Tennis Daily caught up with Pranjala Yadlapalli for this brief interview

Thoughts on the match against Storm Sanders

Storm played really solid.  She hit some good spots on her serve, strokes and had good depth. I played better but made a couple of errors at crucial points in terms of missing the spots. If I was a bit more consistent and had a bit more depth on my strokes, it could have been different. 

Towards the second set I played a bit better but she was much better than me. 

What do you think worked well and what could have gone better?

I had my chances but at crucial points, I missed those couple of balls in terms of hitting it long. She served well and played really aggressive. I could have had a bit more depth and more angle on my second serves. I could have changed the pace a bit more. 

Thoughts on the win against Daria Gavrilova. 

Daria is a great player. I was trying to play solid, be aggressive and be consistent with the depth because if I hit it short, she would come in and kill it. I tried to make her move and pull her outside the court and it worked. 

It’s been 4 months since your last UTR tourney in July. What have you been up to and where do you train these days?

I haven’t played since and so it is good to be back on court competing. I have been training at Beaumaris – SETA Tennis club. It was really tough though to come back after 4 months and play against someone like Gavrilova. I was really sore with my body but Paul and Stacy really took care of me with all the recovery. I was still feeling a bit sore but I tried to do my best and I think I played well, had some good matches and I feel that if I keep on training hard and playing, I can keep getting better. 

On the sessions with Paul Ness and Stacy during these 4 months. Are you ready for the ITF circuit when it resumes?

The sessions with Paul and Stacy have been really good. We used the lockdown period to improve on things like the core, strength, endurance, speed and so on. It was a really good time to build up more and get stronger. I can see a lot of difference in terms of movement, footwork and everything. 

Once the ITF Tour starts, I am ready to resume on the tour as I feel much better and stronger now. 

On the support from the GoSports Foundation. 

GoSports foundation has been really supportive. I am lucky to have them as my sponsor. This was a last minute trip to Australia and it was very expensive. I am lucky that I am here in Australia building on my physical strengths during this phase, instead of being in India. I really want to thank them for their support. 

Your coach Mr. Stephen Koon from the Impact Tennis Academy. Has he been able to follow your matches? Any words on his support?

I am in touch with Stephen Koon. We text each other during the tourney times and he helps me with the patterns and the game plan to follow. We discuss everything and review my performance in the matches as well. 

Stephen is a great coach and is extremely knowledgeable. I miss training with him in Thailand and looking forward to train with him once the pandemic situation improves. 

What’s your plan for the next couple of months?

Tennis Victoria Premier League Club tourney is scheduled here from November 27-30, 2020. Most of the players from this tourney i.e Daria Gavrilova, Storm Sanders and others will feature in this tourney too. We will be playing 5 matches. I will get to play some more matches. 

There is another UTR tourney coming on December 8th. Hopefully I will get an opportunity to play again. 

I have also made an entry into the Australian Open with my injury protected ranking. Hopefully I will be able to make it into the qualifiers. Additionally if any ITF tournaments happen, I can compete. 

After staying this long in training with Paul and Stacy – I know much more about my body now and the exercises. They will also provide me with a plan which I need to keep executing and building it up. 

Photos from the Tourney

Match against Daria Gavrilova. Photo credits to Balaram Dhulipala

Match against Storm Sanders. Photo credits to Kshitij E M

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